TransRockies 2008: longer, higher, better fed

Canadian mountain bike epic improves catering, adds singletrack

TransRockies organisers have announced details of the route and other attractions for this year’s seventh edition of the August 10- 16 Canadian mountain bike marathon.


This year’s race will be the best yet, according to TransRockies spokesman Paul Done who says, “The route is longer and more challenging than ever before while the food and racer support will set new standards for epic events.”

The event starts in Panorama Mountain Village where 500 competitors will assemble, including riders from as far afield as Norway, Zimbabwe, Qatar and Singapore.

New menu awaits

An army marches on its stomach and so does a group of mountain bikers that large. Last year’s TransRockies copped some flak for the quality of catering, but this year the organisers believe they have the quality of food nailed.

After last year’s event organisers started looking for a new caterer “with the aim of offering the best food ever at an epic MTB event,” says event director Aaron McConnell.

 “so we put a search structure in place immediately after our 2007 event with the aim of offering the best food ever at an epic MTB event.”

The organisation retained three-time Ironman champion and nutritionist Melissa Spooner as food consultant (presumably on the grounds that anyone who swims, rides and runs as much as top-level triathlete spends the rest of their time eating).  With Spooner’s input, the organisers chose Anne Riches to cater this year’s race.

Riches provided the food for three days of the 2006 TransRockies. “Those meals surveyed as the highest-rated in the history of the TransRockies,” says Done.

More singletrack, more views (more climbing)

As for the bits between the meals, “riders can expect a fun and challenging 2008 route,” says Done. That will include, “more Rocky Mountain singletrack, epic panoramic vistas, distance, and elevation.”

Last year’s race had to be rerouted because of forest fires, with an extra night at Nipika Mountain resort. This year’s route includes the extra night in Nipika plus a return to the Crowsnest Pass region of Southwestern Alberta.

The heavy snow season in 2007/8 has been a mixed blessing for TransRockies organisers. It means that final route mapping and measurement is just underway but this should be a relatively safe year for dry forest conditions so the route should remain as planned.

New courses for the first three days and day 6 mean more singletrack this year and the seventh and final day will be significantly longer than in the past, with extra Fernie singletrack.


2009 entries open soon

This year’s event is long full, but entries for the 2009 TransRockies open straight after this year’s closes. Past participants will be given priority: 2008 participants can begin 2009 sign-up at the closing banquet while other past TransRockies riders can sign up online starting on Sunday, 17 August. General registration will open on Monday, 18 August. Entry fees for 2009 will be unchanged from this year….